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Audition warm up exercises


Ja Sm
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What warm up exercises would you recommend for my dd while she waits for her audition tomorrow (central associates)? The letters always say to arrive in time to change, warm up etc, but we always feel at a bit of a loss. It can be a bit intimidating and dd can starttofella bit self conscious.

Thanks.

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My dd's teacher gave her a little sequence of exercises to do; starting with jogging gently on the spot, arm circles, neck and head rolls, etc. just gently warming up each part of the body. Then she had a back stretch to do (hands on the barre, feet in parallel, sort of arching, flattening and curving the back if that makes sense).

 

Nowadays she does the exercises given to her by the dance physio before class but of course they are specific to her.

 

Could your dd's teacher email her some ideas before tomorrow?

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I would say if your dd doesn't normally do a warm-up, there's no reason to do one on audition day - adding something new could throw her off her stride. Dancers, like athletes, have a tendency to use the warm-up area to mark their territory and it can be intimidating at all levels.

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I echo what Spanner says, gentle jogging on the spot is a good start. Circle wrists, shoulders and turn head slowly from side to side. Parallel and turned out bends of the knees (not full plies!) (if wearing tights then this way you can check that they are not going baggy at knees!!). Also tendus and glisses to warm up feet effectively. A few forwards and sideways lunges to gently stretch out the legs too.

 

DO NOT get drawn into an unspoken or otherwise competitive display of flexibility ie shouldering legs, box splits and forward splits etc. This is not effective warming up and is no indication of a persons ability to dance! In fact, just feel sorry for those who are trying to show off or intimidate as these traits can be very off putting to a panel of judges- they want those who are pleasant to train too!

 

Hope you daughter enjoys the day - its another chance to dance and that itself is a good thing!! Oh and she must stay hydrated, especially in this lovely weather. Good luck!

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I absolutely agree with hfbrew re. the fact that stretching and warming up is not a competition! Splits etc. should not be done until after a thorough barre session (IMO) so just ignore dancers showing off their flexibility.

 

It's like the dance equivalent of the All-Blacks' Haka. :-)

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Yes we have been at auditions which look like a competition in the warm-up area and it can be quite off-putting! I agree some cardio stuff first then gentle stretches-as well as getting the body ready I think it gives your dd/ds something to concentrate on rather than worrying about the actual audition.

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Great advice here.... gentle cardio to get the blood going, loosen up the shoulders, neck and spine. The other thing that might be good is a few movements to loosen the hip joints gently, say stand on one leg and move the other around gently with the knee bent, circles in both directions etc

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Thank you, lots of really helpful replies. Perhaps I will distract my dd from her nerves by encouraging her to laugh about the out-to-impress displays of flexibility! A bit like mating peacocks!

 

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Just don't worry what everyone else is doing. My son said it could be very intimidating when people were diving into splits and wrapping their legs round their ears:-) Also be aware that some will know each other which can be a little isolating. Good luck.

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Thank you so much for bringing up this topic Ja Sm as I have been wondering about appropriate warm up exercises for some time.

 

In spite of having danced for 10 years, attended two associate classes and taken part in Easter and Summer Schools, my DD says she cannot remember ever being shown what sort of exercises she should be doing by herself to warm up before the start of a class. Therefore when asked to go to a room to 'warm up' before an audition or class she is at a bit of a loss as to what to do. However, we have both been a bit hesitant to ask anyone, as we feel we really ought to know by now!

 

I will follow this thread with interest and would be grateful for any further suggestions as to suitable exercises/routines.

 

Good luck to your daughter Ja Sm and all others attending the Central Associate auditions.

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Just don't worry what everyone else is doing. Also be aware that some will know each other which can be a little isolating.

I've been aware of the same 'pushy' mums at auditions - discussing all the things their children have done and dropping names and places into the conversation at every opportunity but I suddenly thought - if their children are so fantastic how come I see them at the same auditons each time, Surely they would have been snapped up if they are as great as the mums would have us believe :)

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At auditions, my daughter has her own routine of gentle warm ups stretches etc. I am not sure what she does and if anyone is looking and comparing then perhaps they would be best to either concentrate on their own warm ups and move away from any negativity. Like I say my daughter seems to have a gentle routine and she tries to find somewhere away from everyone else, she doesn't seem to notice others stretching and wouldn't bother with anyone who may be showing off as she knows how dangerous it would be to injure oneself just before an audition. At vocational school everyone gets to a class a few minutes early to warm up so that they are ready for class, the kids all have little chats whilst they are stretching and warming up, it seems normal to them. So to see somone doing something extroadinarly stupid during a warm up would not be seen as showing off, more like that person being silly and inexperienced. As for pushy mothers at auditions the best thing for you to do is KEEP AWAY from them, have a lovely coffee and go for a walk, enjoy the day.

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Most funny of all to me are the parents of younger children who very smugly tell you that their child is auditioning/has a place at the Royal Ballet School when they are 8. I always say "oh, you mean JAs?" at which point they sort of mutter "yes". :-)

 

I know what an achievement it is to get - and keep! - an associate place, so why some people feel the need to make it sound as if their child is off to WL at 8 is somewhat beyond me...

 

On the subject of friends, most of the Mums at dd's Associate class are absolutely lovely. There are a couple of...erm....assertive mums but thankfully most of us are very normal!

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We went to one audition where we passed another mum on the stairs. I smiled and said hello. She glared at me with utter contempt, then looked dd up and down as though she had just wiped her off the sole of her shoe.

 

Talk about daggers drawn - I wouldn't want to meet her in a dark alley.

 

I've met lots of other lovely parents, but not that day!

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I was very lucky as my husband took dd to most of her auditions and her associate classes so i never had to witness these situations but did miss out on meeting people as well. Hubby very grateful after 6 years of weekly associate classes to only have to commute 5 days a week although it was only because he was able to take her for £1 that we were able to afford these classes .

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Just to let you know that my dd took on all your advice yesterday. They went into the audition room 20 mins early to warm up. She saw others going into splits and lifting their legs up to their ears. She said she smiled to herself, turned to face the barre and spent her time doing gentle plies, and rises to warm up her feet and legs. A few glissards, I think thats it, and some shoulder rolls.

So you/we are listened to, and your advice taken....how long will this last I wonder....

But best of all, she had a great time..

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The time before a ballet class, or an audition, or a performance is not only a time to warmup - but to get "in the zone." To focus, to concentrate on the task ahead.

 

I always spent that time looking inward so that I could then operate "outward."

 

I always needed to put away the every day world - and enter a new world.

Edited by Anjuli_Bai
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The time before a ballet class, or an audition, or a performance is not only a time to warmup - but to get "in the zone." To focus, to concentrate on the task ahead.

 

I always spent that time looking inward so that I could then operate "outward."

 

I always needed to put away the every day world - and enter a new world.

 

dd used to 'get in the zone' by putting her head phones on and listening to rap music. Her way of getting focused and blocking out the sillyness going on around her.

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